I am a permanent resident living in Canada; I hold a British passport. I am travelling back to the UK for a holiday, and was wondering whether, when arriving, am I able to walk straight through or do I have to join the line up as if I were a visitor?

  • As a UK citizen you will have to join the queue as with anyone else on the flight. – Boolean May 12 '19 at 21:22
  • 1
    I think there is some confusion about whether you consider UK or Canada “home” given the current comments and answers. Could you clarify? – Notts90 supports Monica May 12 '19 at 21:43
  • 1
    I am a permanent resident of Canada, living in Canada, born in the UK and hold a UK passport – user97430 May 12 '19 at 21:49
  • 3
    Right, so does "home" denote your country of residence or your country of origin? People sometimes use the word for one purpose and sometimes for the other. Anyway, citizens of the UK have to show to an immigration officer that they are in fact citizens of the UK, so yes you'll have to line up. – phoog May 12 '19 at 21:53
  • 1
    Sorry for the confusion, I always call the UK home even though I reside in Canada – user97430 May 12 '19 at 21:54

As you're a British citizen, you'll be allowed into the UK with minimal fuss whether or not you actually live there. The border guards won't know or care what country you're living in, and are very unlikely to ask you any questions at all.

When you arrive in the UK, join the "UK and EU passports" line at passport control. You'll still have to wait (possibly a while at larger airports) but this line usually moves much faster than the line for non-EU folks.

EDIT: Notts90 raises a good point about which country you mean by "home". If you're talking about returning to Canada as a permanent resident, you'll still have to wait at passport control, although there might be a separate line for permanent residents.

  • 4
    Returning to Canada, Canadian residents can use the automated passport controls at the airport much as citizens can. These machines are actually better than the NEXUS on the Canadian side -- NEXUS is helpful when entering the USA and you can get it as a resident after three years. Source: I was a Canadian resident for a long while, very familiar with the rigmarole. – chx May 12 '19 at 21:56
  • 1
    Can use automated passport control in the UK at most airports too, so you might not even speak to a border guard... Mine never works in them though hand always end up having to see one! – BritishSam May 13 '19 at 9:46

As a citizen of the UK, you are entitled to enter the UK. To get past the immigration checkpoint, however, you have to establish to the satisfaction of an immigration officer that you are a citizen of the UK. That means that you must wait for an available immigration officer (or automated passport gate) if one is not immediately available. Furthermore, you have to stop at the gate or at the officer's desk to show your passport and wait for any validation process to be completed.

This process is much quicker than the full immigration checks that non-EU/EEA/Swiss travelers go through, so the line you will join will generally be much shorter and faster moving, but you certainly can't characterize it as "walking straight through."

  • 1
    I suspect the question is "Can I use the UK/EU passports line or do I have to use the other line?" rather than literally "Will there be any line at all?" – David Richerby May 12 '19 at 22:30
  • @DavidRicherby maybe. But I've encountered more than one person who has misunderstood the meaning of "not subject to immigration control" sufficiently to ask why they have to show their passport if they're not subject to immigration control. – phoog May 13 '19 at 12:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.